New opportunities for persons with disabilities in Bangladesh

Gazipur Technical School & College this week inaugurated a new sewing machine operator’s course which included persons with disabilities. The course is an important step towards meeting the growing skill needs of the quickly expanding readymade garments industry in Bangladesh.

Press release | 31 January 2013
The readymade garments industry is one of the biggest export sectors in Bangladesh, making up USD 12.75 billion, or 79.33% of its total exports in 2009. Gazipur Technical School & College (TSC) is one of the first public institutions in Bangladesh to integrate persons with disabilities into formal readymade garments training programs.

Engr. Haripada Chandra Paul, Principal of Gazipur TSC, said “we have been training students for years but there are gaps between what we are providing and what industry wants. The ILO’s approach in Bangladesh is comprehensive; they are looking at policy approaches, industry needs, teachers and trainer skills, management and leadership skills of managers and principals. I am now confident to lead my staff at Gazipur and run our institution for the betterment of society, including students from all backgrounds.”

The model which Gazipur TSC used to create their program was developed by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reform Project, through partnering the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed with Interfab Shirt Manufacturing. It is a model which is now attracting interest from training institutes and textile factories across Bangladesh.

Selim Hussain, CEO & Managing Director of IDLC Finance, said “as the largest non-banking financial institution in Bangladesh, doing business the right way is our priority. We want to see this model replicated across the country, and will be encouraging our clients in the readymade garments industry to link with training institutions and directly employ their students.”

Asif Moyeen, Managing Director of Far East Knitting, said “graduates from this comprehensive program will be equipped to enter the readymade garment work force at operator level with a decent salary and good career prospects. Whilst they are free to join any company, we at Far East have assured the project that we are prepared to absorb all the graduates at our factory.”

The BDT 136 Crore project is an initiative of the Government of Bangladesh, funded by the European Union and executed with the support of the ILO.

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